News coverage about abuse of Indigenous women, immigrant workers leads Schuneman Symposium agenda

Published: March 25, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Half of the eight presentations at the 2022 Schuneman Symposium on Photojournalism and New Media at Ohio University will focus on marginalized communities.

“Different Voices, All Human” is the theme of the 15th, and last, symposium made possible through the generation gift of OHIO alumni R. Smith and Patricia Schuneman. The annual event, presented by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Visual Communication, has brought the best journalists in the world to Athens County.

The symposium convenes March 29-30 in person in Baker University Center Theater and virtually via Zoom.

“We are excited that our students will once again be able to connect with our symposium presenters in person,” said Dr. Eddith Dashiell, journalism school director. “The School of Journalism will always be grateful to Smith and Patricia Schuneman, who have contributed half a million dollars over the years for the program.”

Photojournalist and OHIO visual communication graduate Loren Holmes will share his Pulitzer-winning project about the lack of police protection in Alaska’s rural and Indigenous communities.

Navajo (Diné) journalists Eugene Tapahe and Erin Tapahe will share how they use the jingle dress tradition via TikTok videos to draw attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.

Emmy award-winning “Frontline” producers Daffodil Altan and Andrés Cediel will screen their film “COVID’s Hidden Toll,” which examines the pandemic’s effect on immigrant U.S. workers.

Timothy Goheen is director of the School of Visual Communication and joined Dashiell in thanking the Schunemans.

The Schuneman Symposium has been a noteworthy highlight for me since I joined the Scripps College of Communication in 2014,” he said. “Ohio University students, faculty, and the Athens community have been able to hear, see and learn from presenters such as four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Carol Guzy, President Barack Obama’s chief White House photographer Pete Souza, Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Wes Lowery and informational graphics legend Nigel Holmes, among others.”

Other presenters include Scripps journalism graduate Wu Chen, who will explain how he helped launch the first Chinese language news app for The Economist magazine; School of Visual Communication graduate Rachel Orr and her creative partner Hannah Good, who will show how they use comics in journalism storytelling for The Washington Post; and a panel discussion where the speakers ask questions of one another.

 “2022 may mark the end of the Schuneman Symposium, but we are making plans for the School of Journalism’s centennial celebration in 2023, which has also been made possible through the Schunemans' generous support,” Dashiell said.

When the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 symposium just days before it was to begin, the Schunemans made another gift to provide for a fully-funded 15th symposium. The reserve from the 2020 program will be used for a centennial event.

Smith Schuneman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in photography and journalism, and Patricia earned her bachelor’s degree in education. They moved to Minnesota, where Smith earned his doctorate in mass communication research and taught at the University of Minnesota as a professor of journalism for 16 years. They co-founded Media Loft Inc., which specializes in producing multimedia presentations for corporations. The Schunemans built Media Loft into a company with 50 employees, while serving a number of high-profile clients and earning national awards for their work. They worked at Media Loft for two decades until selling it to an employee trust and then retiring from the board in 2001. They reside in Iowa.

See the full schedule and register for virtual sessions at